Every summer, several California children lose their lives or suffer serious injury when they are left inside a closed car in the summer heat. Even on seemingly mild days, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach dangerous levels.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 25 U.S. children die each year due to being trapped in a hot vehicle. Several dozen more children are injured, and some suffer life-altering disabilities as a result.
Children trapped in hot cars are at particular risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke because a car’s windows and panels act like a greenhouse, trapping heat inside the passenger compartment and trunk. If the temperature outside is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, a car parked in full sun can reach an internal temperature of 131 degrees – too hot for even an adult to touch comfortably. Cars parked in the sun in 100 degree weather may reach 172 degrees or more inside.
Even a few minutes of exposure to these high temperatures can cause permanent damage to a baby or young child, whose bodies don’t have the tolerance or ability to cope with heat like that of an adult’s body. Even older children and adults should not sit in closed vehicles in these temperatures, however, since no one is immune to the risks posed by heatstroke.
If your child has been injured after being carelessly left inside a vehicle, please don’t hesitate to call the experienced San Diego child injury attorneys at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers to learn more about your family’s legal rights and options. Our number is (888) 233-5020, and your initial consultation is always free and confidential.